Hungarian desserts are known for being extremely decadent and absolutely delicious. While most desserts in Hungary are sweet and filled with jams and creams, you can also find savory desserts that will suit any palate.
You will also find that desserts in Hungarian have some influence from the past Austro Hungarian empire. When traveling throughout Hungary, you definitely need to make time to try some of these Hungarian desserts.
Favorite Hungarian Dessert
While I am sure this is probably not the most common dessert in Hungary, it is hands down a favorite. The sensation of having it for the first time is still so memorable for a chestnut fan.
Hungarian Chestnut Cake/Puree
If you are coming to Hungary from North America, you may not have had the opportunity to try a lot of chestnut-flavored desserts. The chestnut cake does not use flour, which makes this a very fudgy dessert.
There is also rum, and a glossy chocolate frosting poured over top. This Hungarian dessert typically comes with fresh whipped cream and candied chestnuts.
Sweet Desserts In Hungary
You will find nutty and chocolate flavors in a lot of Hungarian sweets. There are also jams and powdered sugars, of course! Desserts in Hungary are perfect for after dinner or as a part of your breakfast—really any time of day.
The Hungarian Gerbeaud cake is a moist and rich shortcrust pastry layered with jam and walnut filling, covered in a melted dark chocolate frosting. The pastry is very crumbly and crisped.
This is one of the most traditional Hungarian desserts that this Eastern European country is known for.
The Dobos cake, or Dobos Torte, is easily identifiable with its glistening layer of caramel on top. This is one of the most famous Hungarian desserts known around the world.
It is a seven-layered dessert made with several layers of cake and chocolate butter cream frosting. The delicious Hungarian dessert is then glazed with a hard caramel layer on top to give it the iconic look.
A perfect treat when you are walking around the Christmas markets, this is a cream cheese pastry filled with various sweet treats like apricot jam, plum jam and more..
The sweet filling provides a contrast against the pastry to create one of the most popular Hungarian desserts
Hungarian Sour Cherry Sponge Cake
Hungarian Sour Cherry Sponge Cake is a dessert that is made with light sponge cake and sour cherries. It is easy to make as it follows a regular cake recipe but is topped with sour cherries in the batter before baking.
Hungarian Chocolate Cake
Many European countries have a variation of chocolate cake on their menus. In Hungary, they have their own twist to it as well.
The sponge cake is soaked in rum syrup, which makes it very moist. There is coffee added as well, which brings out the chocolate flavors. The traditional Hungarian dessert is topped with a layer of chocolate sauce.
Hungarian Apple Cake
If you are traveling throughout Hungary and need an apple dessert fix, look no further than an apple cake.
In this classic Hungarian dessert, pure apple goodness is centered between two layers of ground walnuts crusts. It is then dusted with powdered sugar. The sugar and walnut coating brings a different dimension of taste.
You can easily find this in many pastry shops throughout Hungary.
And if you are still looking for more baked fruit desserts, you can have a traditional strudel, This is a thin and flakey Hungarian puff pastry filled with a creamy apple filling.
Some may also have raisins to add a chewy element to contrast the smooth apples. The puff pastry dessert is not just popular in Hungary but around the world.
Krémes is one of the most popular Hungarian desserts that consist of vanilla pastry cream between two layers of puff pastry. The cream is made with vanilla, sugar, milk, flour, and egg yolk, giving it a fluffy texture.
This Hungarian dessert might look extremely filling visually, but is actually quite light and airy. You may want another after having one. If you have been to the Balkans, you might find similar variations like the Kremshnita in Croatia.
Hungarian Chocolate Biscuits
These chocolate biscuits resemble whoopie pies or macaroons. The biscuit is made to be soft and buttery as you bite in. Between the two cookies is a buttercream frosting that will have you addicted fast.
Somlói Galuska is a Hungarian trifle dessert that can be found in Hungary. It consists of three pieces of sponge cakes in different flavors.
The dish is served with whipped cream and a chocolate sauce blend that usually involves Rum. You can also add ground nuts to give it more flavor.
For a small side dessert while you enjoy your morning coffee, turn to Butterhorn cookies. They look similar to crescent rolls with a stuffing mixture consisting of cinnamon, sugar, and chopped walnuts.
Hungary desserts are full of surprises! These cookies have a sweet jam filling hidden inside the buttery and chewy cookie that is slightly tart due to the cream cheese used to make it.
You can fill these cookies with whatever jam you prefer or you can make a creamy nut filling and put that inside.
Chocolate Coconut Balls
One of the most popular Hungarian desserts is the chocolate coconut ball, which is literally a ball full of chocolate and coconut, sometimes with rum.
The balls are typically about the size of a golf ball and have a deliciously rich, creamy chocolate and coconut flavor.
This is probably one of the simpler Hungarian dessert recipes, yet incredibly good and sinful.
The Esterházy cake is a Hungarian dessert that is known for its unique look and taste. This sweet treat consists of layers of almond meringue cake that holds vanilla or chocolate buttercream between them.
It is easily identified by the classic stripe pattern on the cake made with fondant and melted chocolate. This is one of the most traditional Hungarian desserts.
Kakaos Csiga is a sweet Hungarian pastry similar to the well-loved cinnamon rolls. It is basically a chocolate roll with powdered sugar on top. This isn’t a sticky roll and is a delightful way to start your morning with.
When it comes to traditional Hungarian desserts, there is no more unique dessert than Mákos Bejgli. This is a poppy seed dessert that has a soft, poopy consistency and a nutty taste.
Mákos Bejgli is usually rolled in a sweet dough and topped with poppy seeds and sugar. The sweet poppy seed filling creates a distinctive contrast with the pastry. It is commonly seen during Easter and Christmas.
Aranygaluska (Hungarian Pull Apart Cake)
Over the years, there have been many variations of Hungarian pull apart cakes. The cake is actually bread, and it is a lot of bread balls put together in a cake form.
You can find versions that are just cinnamon and sugar or with walnuts or with apples. It can also include sweet fillings like plum jam, apricot jam, and butter cookies crumbs.
Either way, the golden brown texture of this Hungarian dessert is certainly appealing. This is a great dessert or breakfast meal that everyone will love.
This is the Hungarian version of French crepes—a very thin pancake batter, filled with a sweet (but sometimes savory) filling.
Unlike crepes, these are rolled, and the fillings typically include cheese and another complementary filling. You can certainly customize it to your own preference with custard cream, nutella or whipped cream.
Kürtőskalács (Chimney Cake)
If you are traveling throughout Central Europe, you will see many vendors selling chimney cakes. Many countries have also laid claims to the Chimney cake. These are the perfect pastries to have as a midday snack.
Chimney cakes are cylindrical, hollow bread desserts rolled in sugar and can be sprinkled with walnuts.
As more and more vendors sell them, people are getting innovative to stand out from the competition. Some vendors will even add vanilla custard or ice cream with whipped cream to them! These are some of the most popular street foods in Hungary.
Savory Hungarian Desserts
Hungarian pastries aren’t just sweet. There are quite a few options that are also savory and can be enjoyed any time of day.
Pogacsa is a bite-sized savory pastry. Best consumed while still warm, these pastries may be filled with cabbage, bacon, sour cream or pumpkin seeds.
However, even the common cheese or plain ones are amazing especially when the taste of melted butter just spreads in the mouth.
It is also a dessert mentioned in Hungarian folklore—the hero always eats one of these tasty treats before going on their adventure.
This is a baked Hungarian dessert made of layered noodles mixed with cottage cheese, sour cream, and raisins. This dessert is typically eaten with breakfast in Hungary or at a brunch since it is so rich in carbs and cream.
These are Hungarian cottage cheese dumplings that are served as dessert or included in dinner meals as a side to the main course. They are dumplings filled with cottage cheese and then coated in a breadcrumb mixture.
These cottage cheese dumplings are the perfect bite-sized treat that will explode in your mouth. They can also be made with other traditional fillings.
Note that this can be one of the more filling desserts in Hungry, so don’t overstuff yourself with it.
Hungarian Desserts And Cuisine
A Hungarian dessert is the best way to end a day of walking around a city like Budapest. It is a taste and memory that you can bring home and try to make yourself once you are back.
Beware not to stuff yourself full with dessert, so you have space to indulge in amazing traditional food and wine in Hungary. The famous Gundel Restaurant is one of the signature food places in Budapest for traditional Hungarian cuisine.